Of course he wasn’t going to. There’s a better chance of Britain getting a new Prime Minister within the next 12 months, than Stan Kroenke answering Arsenal shareholders’ questions at the AGM. YW alluded to the big fat clue that was the Telegraph article on Wednesday. It’s a tactic straight out of Chapter 6 Section 4 of “The Good Guide to PR Smoke and Mirrors”.
Sir Chips clearly picked up the baton left by his predecessor. It’s hard to tell who between Sir Chips and our Peter Hill-Wood did a better Keystone Cops impression at chairing the AGM. As to the question of whether Silent Stan will address the AGM, the response was as comical as it was contemptuous – ‘Go read the newspaper son, that’s why he did the interview’.
We didn’t even need Russian hackers to interfere with elections at the AGM. They just changed the rules of the game right there in front of everyone. “The audacity of the shareholders at the AGM”, the baffled board must have thought. How can 3% of them deny a motion to reappoint Sir Chips and young Josh Kroenke to the board? Not rocking the boat is Usmanov’s stance at the AGM, so the motion went through. A bloody nose? A statement of dissent? All that and still ignored.
Ask Ivan Gazidis and he’ll swear to you that Arsenal are consistently performing better and better. He of course does that management thing of qualifying a baffling statement with your own metrics which define success. Confirmation that the business side of the game is taken more seriously at Arsenal than football. Kroenke has a stable ship and he’s not going to rock it for anyone so long as the business side makes sense.
And They Think That They Have Got The Battle Won
Perhaps that’s what our Ivan was doing tucking into a sumptuous meal at a trendy Italian restaurant in the Tribeca district in New York. Only, he wasn’t alone. Not that many New Yorkers would even glance at a table that had our Ivan; Liverpool’s owner John W Henry (he of the “I wonder what they’re smoking down there at the Emirates” statement); Manchester United’s Vice-Chair Ed Woodwood; and Avram and Joel Glazer.
With Premier League clubs in an 11-9 deadlock on the changes the big 6 clubs want, you have to ask why the break-away faction. Or maybe nobody really likes Chelsea, Man City and Tottenham. Either way, it is likely that more money will be thrown at the Premier League, especially with the entry of Facebook, Google, Apple, Amazon and Alibaba –5 of the 7 biggest tech industry giants – looking to enter the streaming market.
Yesterday’s AGM gave the feeling of “same ‘ole, same ‘ole”. It didn’t help that Sir Chips decided to shut shop early, prematurely closing the proceedings.
Now where have we heard this script before? No prizes for guessing. A version of it always comes from Arséne at recent AGM’s. The first time I consciously noted the “support the team and judge me in May” plea was in 2009. If my memory serves me well, that was the AGM that a supporter called Almunia and Silvestre geriatrics, and demanded they be pensioned off.
They Know Not What They’ve Done
9 games in and we’re 9 points behind the leaders. Are we still challengers? Ask most people and they’ll tell you – hell no. The same people will also tell you Chelsea, who we’re tied with are challengers and still in the mix. Perhaps we have form and people are right to pre-empt our annual meltdown. Maybe there is something different this season. A rare chance to sensibly rotate the squad and keep the 1st XI fresh for the Premier League.
The second string are showing their consistency and hunger in the cup competitions so far. Perhaps this is a blessing in disguise. I’m getting less disappointed that we didn’t make the Champions League only to crash out in the last 16. It was tedious. As we progress in the Europa League, we will still be amongst the favourites to win the competition. No need being in it and not trying to win. If it’s good for other European giants – Manchester United and Chelsea included, then its good enough for us. This is our station in life at the moment.
Back to the Premier League. The response at Goodison Park was exactly what the doctor ordered. The Swans present another opportunity tomorrow for redemption and to get the momentum going. We will need that momentum if we’re going to prove that Man City are really just flat track bullies. We’ve done it before when they said we couldn’t, we can certainly do it again.
Have a great weekend.